Llions Interview – TEA Volume 13

Phillip Hong
28 April, 2009

Casual “jamming” into realization

llions1To distance themselves away from the predator of the African animal kingdom (if you live in Toronto, more like Cambridge and their African Lion Safari), LLIONS had no choice but to duplicate the “L” in their name. That created a very exotic “ull” sound in my mouth as if I was speaking Korean.

The diverse genre set of this group is as diverse as the group’s origins. What I thought was Malaysian was actually Finnish… but regardless of the ancestral origins of names in general, one could easily forget these little details for a type of music that brings comfort and uniqueness to a listener’s day.

How do you get rid of this “ull” sound, you ask? Listen to their music and this tongue-twister shall cease.

PHIL: What got you into music? Is it a natural part of you?

MATT: My parents enrolled me in piano lessons at age 5. Due to my piano experience and my ability to read music I was selected to play the drums in Jr. High, and the rest is history! I have many relatives with the “musical gift”, so I’d say it’s pretty natural for me.

SATU: I think I was just born this way. And if not, my family (parents, siblings, and extended family) are all very musical and have had a huge influence on me. It’s just like speaking another language.

SUVI: Like Matt, it was my parents that put us into music. Satu and I began with piano lessons, then later on we began violin lessons as well. Add to that a musical family, and presto! I’d like to think that it is a natural part of me. My entire family is musical and has a deep love affair for music, so I’m pretty sure that it is embedded in my genes (though maybe not in the jeans that I am wearing right now)!

JARKKO: Music was a part of my family growing up, and I just picked it up. I went through the motions with some piano lessons, but even when I started to figure out the guitar I just took it for granted that music is, always was, and always would be a normal part of my life.

PHIL: How did you guys become a group?

MATT: Well… it was a rainy night in September…

SATU: 1 Satu plus 1 Suvi plus 1 Jarkko plus 1 Matt equals 4 LLIONS!!! We simply started jamming and realized we could make something out of us.

llions2SUVI: It all began one fall (right Jarkko? My memory is a bit foggy and patchy). Satu, Jarkko and I were playing around with this idea of becoming a band… then one day, our brilliant Matt joined us!

JARKKO: I always wanted to play and create music with my sisters, and one day in late 2006 it all lined up: Matt and I already were already playing together in another band, I had developed some songs for a new project but didn’t know yet what to do with them, Satu and Suvi were excited with the ideas that I was getting… the opportunity was there and everyone was game… I think we just realized that we all were on the same page with respect to the sound and style we wanted to explore.

PHIL: What is the inspiration behind “One More Left”?

SATU: …Jarkko? Really influenced by our Finnish heritage I would say.

SUVI: …Jarkko, wrote it. He is Beethoven reincarnated. Satu agrees. The rest of us simply added our own touches to One More Left. Plain and simple.

Check out the rest of the interview with Llions at TEA on 148.ca

Rivoli 2006 Showcase

rivoli-logoThe Rivoli is the ideal venue for TEA Summer Showcases. This intimate setting brings an atmosphere that can only be described as comfortable. Artists are seen on the stages, patios, streets, playing pool, being interviewed and much more. The true TEA community comes alive at the Rivoli.

An Honest Mistake


Unit 731


Daisy DeBolt


Marriane Turner


Matthew Cooke


Power Boxx


The 13th


Jeff Hill




Dream Aria



Big Bop Showcase

reverbThe Big Bop TEA Summer Showcase was held at the Big Bop, also known as The Reverb Room and Holy Joe’s. Located at Queen & holy-joesBathurst in the heart of Toronto, this venue has 2 staging areas. Holy Joe’s is used for the acoustic acts and the Reverb Room mainstage is used for full band performances.

Car Bombs & Allah





David William


Power Boxx


Jeff Hill


Eli Parker


Davey Boy




Mr. Wright


NSS, Scott Helfrich & Mike Criscione


Art from the Ruin


Linda Saslove



locus main 3TEA Volume 14 artists Locus are a Vancouver-based acoustic/folk/electronic band, comprised of vocalist/lyricist Kaila So, twin musicians Jason and Kelvin Chu, and singer/multi-instrumentalist Eric Chan. All current members of Locus write or co-write, arrange, and perform original songs. Their dream pop sound draws heavily from influences in the electronic, industrial, ambient, and ethereal genres. Since forming in late 2006, Locus has made many live appearances at various local venues, including the Norman Rothstein Theatre, Tom Lee Music Hall, and Fabric Night Club. The band has also performed in support of several community events, most notably the Summer Night Market and Vancouver Pride. “Shine” is the new maxi-single from Locus, released November 14th, 2009. This new recording features the lead mandarin single (Shooting Star). Executively produced by Kelvin Chu, “Shine” is also the first release to be entirely written, produced, recorded, and mastered by the band alone. “Shine” also contains one b-side: the piano version of (“Sunflower”), originally intended for the band’s full-length release, “Ambrosia.”

locus bottom 2Locus has produced several independent recordings. In the spring of 2008, Locus conceived, financed, and produced their debut EP “Silent Echo.” They released the follow-up to “Silent Echo,” titled “Ambrosia,” in January 2009. “Ambrosia”‘s first single “Wonderland,” was selected to appear on the TEA South Compilation Volume 14. Locus released their third studio effort in November 2009 titled “Shine.” Read Locus artist interview conducted by Phillip Hong of SRN Mediaworks. You may purchase Locus music here

Listen to Locus